HOLLAND TWP. — The West Ottawa Public Schools Board of Education received an update on several construction projects in the district during its meeting on Monday, April 27. Most projects in the district are moving forward as planned, but one has hit a delay amid the coronavirus.
The ongoing renovation of Harbor Lights Middle School, which got underway this winter, has been delayed because the district can’t have contractors in to work on the building.
“That is a $27 million project that we are in a holding pattern on right now,” assistant superintendent for business services Jeff Malloch said. “We can’t have contractors in the building right now.
“All the permitting is approved, we’re done with the first stage of demolition. When the first (stay home, stay safe) executive order was released, I sent a letter … to the (Bureau of Construction Codes) requesting that we move forward with the project. That request was denied.
“With the latest order coming out, we think that it’s going to be best practice to request again from the BCC. We’re going to draft another letter and see if we can get these subcontractors in as soon as possible.”
Updates were also provided on scheduled work for three elementary schools: Lakeshore, Pine Creek and Sheldon Woods.
Lakeshore Elementary is set to have boilers replaced this summer between May and August. Pine Creek and Sheldon Woods are set for larger projects, but are still in the design phase.
Malloch described the Pine Creek project as being in its “infant stages.” The project is set to add two classrooms to the north side of the building and provide HVAC upgrades throughout the building. The district will bid out for construction services in the fall and plans to begin the project next spring.
Sheldon Woods is set to receive a new secure entry. It will be the last elementary in the district to receive a secure entry addition, superintendent Tom Martin noted. The school will also receive workroom and bathroom upgrades.
Malloch and GMB architect Lisa Maycroft also provided updates on the design phases of two major building projects that were part of the district’s March 2019 bond effort — a new performing arts center and new athletics stadium.
The athletic stadium design has been scaled back after coming in significantly over budget initially. A pair of concession stands and a spirit shop were removed from the design to save costs, Martin said. The new stadium still has 60 percent more concession capacity than the current stadium.
Maycroft noted the project will involve bringing in filler to raise the property above the water table of the property, which was measured between one and three feet.
Malloch shared two different designs for the new PAC that are being considered. The plans differ in exact placement of the PAC in relation to the north high school building and parking accessibility.
“I think we have a really good couple of options here that allow us to utilize the space as we told the voters we would,” Martin said.
During the meeting, the board approved a pair of contracts for work on the PAC. Acoustics By Design is being contracted for acoustics and the AV system, while Schuler Shook will be contracted for theater consultation services.
The board also approved bids for two partial roof replacements at the south high school building. The partial replacements were brought on by wind and storm damage, Malloch said.
— Contact reporter Mitchell Boatman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SentinelMitch.